Muscovy Ducks Full Grown (video)

It’s a little hard to believe that these ducks (drakes, if you look under the hood) were only hatched in late August. The video probably doesn’t do them justice when it comes to illustrating their enormous size.

Up next, pheasant? Turkey? Ostrich?

Round 2 of Ducklings

This is the hatch that never ends. Starting on Tuesday, the latest batch of ducklings started to emerge from their shells. The last two birds hatched last night during. If any more hatch I’d be surprised at this point in the game. Two of the birds needed some help hatching. I think that the low energy of some of the ducks may be a result of the higher humidity experienced while hatching the two early ducks. We lost a couple of ducklings mid-hatch as they didn’t have the energy to push themselves out of their shells, and we didn’t notice in time.

The six ducklings that made it are all the same species, muscovy, but have slightly different colourings which will still be as pronounced when they feather-out as adults. Don’t mind the blur in the below photos. I think the ducklings assumed I was filming a video, not taking a photo, so they kept dancing and moving about.

"No, no.  'Duck a l'Orange' mean we get oranges to eat!"

“No, no. ‘Duck a l’Orange’ means we get oranges to eat!”

 

Ducklings are no more

The two ducklings we hatched on Sunday are no longer with us. They are now at the cemetery. But luckily they’re not dead, they are actually going to be working at a cemetery keeping flies down and slugs off the plants around the graves.

Next week we will have more hatched an available for purchase. If you’re interested, let us know and we’ll put you on the list.

The Ducklings have hatched!

In semi-secrecy we’ve been incubating two dozen duck eggs. Really the only people we were keeping a secret from were my parents. They didn’t know we were hatching duck, and more importantly that the birds would be living at their house for the few weeks we were fattening them up.

On Tuesday we had one duck hatch. Sadly he struggled and passed. Then on Friday afternoon two more pipped. Sounds like a really positive thing: the ducks have successfully incubated and are now hatching. It was the opposite. These ducks were all early. Very early. When we bought the eggs they threw in a few eggs “from under a duck” which I took as they moved a duck to get some eggs. What it actually meant was, she had set the eggs and had been incubating them for two weeks by the time I picked them up!

Still might not sound like a terrible thing, but if you know incubation and hatching, it’s a nightmare. During incubation, eggs are stood up on end and secured with rails, the humidity level is set lower and the eggs are turned multiple times a day. During “lockdown” (the few days before hatching) the humidity is drastically raised, the eggs are not turned, and they are laid on their sides to help the ducklings/chicks push out.

With that in mind, I had 15 eggs in need of turning and to remain upright, while two of their siblings needed to be laid down and have the humidity cranked. Luckily, after 36 hours, the two hatched and a further 16 hours in the incubator left them dry and ready for the brooder. At this point I had to clean the incubator (and a couple of eggs) from top to bottom of the nasty mess their hatch-mates had left.

Newly hatched duckling in the incubator.

Newly hatched duckling in the incubator.

Although the secret is out of the bag (I ordered duck layer in front of my mother at the feed store; I’m an idiot), my parents don’t know what type of duck these are. There are dozens of breeds of ducks and I think for anyone with a sharp eye they’ll be able to figure what these are from the pictures below.

SAMSUNG

These two are for sale for anyone interested. They must go as a pair. I’m looking for $10.

SAMSUNG